Ibn al-Haytham's The Book of Optics

The Book of Optics (Arabic: كتاب المناظر,  Kitāb al-Manāẓir) is a  seven volume treatise by Abu Ali al-Hasan ibn al-Haytham, also known as Alhazen. The work explored a variety of topics including light, color, and how the eye works.  Most notably, the work looked at intromission and emission, the two common theories about how vision functioned at the time. Like intromission theory, Ibn al-Haytham argued that rays of light were omitted from objects to be perceived by the eye using the cone of vision model. His work in optics helped to shape the theory of perspective through the medieval and Renaissance periods. This set the foundation for present day perspective and working drawings.



The Institute of Ismaili Studies. “Ibn al-Haytham or Alhazen.” Ibn al-Haytham or Alhazen | The Institute of Ismaili Studies, iis.ac.uk/encyclopaedia-articles/ibn-al-haytham-or-alhazen.


The Pittsburgh Conference on Analytical Chemistry and Applied Spectroscopy, Inc. “The Father of Modern Optics - Ibn al-Haytham's Book of Optics.” AZoOptics.com, 14 July 2017, www.azooptics.com/Article.aspx?ArticleID=925.


Image courtesy of History of Science Collections, University of Oklahoma Libraries. Image is public domain {{PD-1996}}.

Associated Place(s)

Event date:

circa. 1027